National Volunteer Week: Mal Flew

Our second National Volunteer Week profile is surf sports official, Mal Flew from Cape Hawke SLSC. Mal has been involved in Surf Life Saving for 25 years and volunteers because he loves giving back to the community.

Name: Mal Flew
Club: Cape Hawke SLSC
Occupation: Managing Engineer

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?
I joined Surf Life Saving in 1990 to learn resuscitation and I’ve now been involved for 25 years. I have moved myself through all different roles over the years, from being a patrol member to now helping out as a surf sports official, which I really enjoy.

Why do you volunteer?
I love volunteering because of the comradery that comes with it, giving back to the community and seeing kids happy at carnivals.

How many hours in total have you volunteered for Surf Life Saving?
Since 2007 I have clocked up 286.75 patrolling hours and that doesn’t include all the carnivals. So over the three decades I’ve put in hundreds and hundreds of hours, but it doesn’t feel like it because I love helping out at my club and at larger events.

What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a Surf Life Saving volunteer?
It is a great movement, from club to international level and the people involved at all levels have something to offer, whether you’re a nipper or an official like me everyone does it for the love of Surf Life Saving.

Favourite moment as a volunteer in Surf Life Saving?
It would have to be the delivery of the Aussie IRB Titles in Darwin 2013, it was an amazing and well run event for all involved.

How have you found officiating carnivals over the last few years?
Over the last five or so years, there have been many improvements particularly involving management across all levels which has made officiating a lot easier.

How has being an official changed since you first started?
Events have vastly improved from when I began officiating, carnivals are more structured and communication and planning have advanced considerably.

What’s your perspective on surf sports on the Lower North Coast?
Unfortunately we lose competitors to jobs, university and so on and the Lower North Coast needs to look at the big picture to gain expertise in surf sports.

Do you look up to any officials and why?
Yes, Andrew Buhk who is an outstanding referee and volunteers at Aussies. Andrew handles a major event without being reactive, but positive. I also think Don van Keimpema is an outstanding official for his ability to listen and act. Ritchie Lytham for his support and comradery, Rick Wright who makes the hard calls and most of the Area and Sectional Referees at both State and Aussies, they are all approachable and you can rely on their communications and response.

WIN! WIN! WIN! Don't forget to enter our National Volunteer Week competition and go in the running to win an Engine Swim prize pack. All you have to do is nominate someone you think deserves to be recognised. Tag a fellow clubbie on our Facebook page post and you could BOTH win. You have until midnight on the 17 May 2015.

Tue 12 May 2015